Emerging Theme Workshops

Workshop Goals | Developing an Action Plan | Resources |

Geoscience education is in the midst of rapid change as research on learning provides new guidance for how we teach, as the revolution in understanding the Earth system changes what we teach, and as information technology provides new opportunities for teaching and research. Emerging theme workshops move important new topics from an initial stage of early activity by isolated leaders in the field toward widespread implementation in undergraduate geoscience courses. Topics are chosen where 1) it is clear that incorporation of the emerging topic into geoscience courses is important and will significantly enhance student understanding about the Earth and 2) a case can be made that a workshop will have a substantial impact in moving the content or pedagogy into broader use by geoscience faculty. Geoscientists and educators are invited to recommend topics.

The goal of emerging themes workshops is to catalyze rapid forward motion in geoscience education by bringing together individuals who are making significant contributions to enable synergistic collective action. They form the starting point of a multi-year trajectory of development, with the goal at the end of the process being wide dissemination of information and materials needed for broad inclusion of new content or pedagogy in the undergraduate geoscience curriculum. Each topic develops in a unique way that reflects the leaders in the field, the nature of the topic and its evolution, and community needs and interests of the time. A key aspect of emerging theme workshops is the development of a plan leading to broad implementation of this topic and the initiation of activities implementing the plan.

Workshop Goals

All emerging themes workshops share these specific goals:

Developing an Action Plan

Action plans that move an emerging theme forward can include elements that disseminate information about the topic, develop, collect or disseminate teaching materials or other resources, or build new partnerships. For example, the workshop or its follow-on activities could produce

Resources Available through On the Cutting Edge

The On the Cutting Edge Workshop series provides resources that can assist workshop participants in implementing strategic plans.

Workshop Planning